I had the pleasure of reading Blue while on a long flight to Tokyo. It was the perfect fantasy world in which to immerse myself to make the time pass more quickly. Author Lou Aronica creates a world that manages to be both surreal and tangible. Reading this book is like experiencing a lucid dream with depth and detail that play on all five senses.
The story focuses on Chris, a divorced father, and his teenage daughter, Becky. During her bout with leukemia as a child, Becky and her father created a bedtime story about a fantasy world called Tamarisk. Their elaborate nightly tale centered around a young princess named Miea, who is sensitive, regal, and committed to her kingdom and her people. When Tamarisk is unexpectedly threatened by a blight with the potential to wipe out all life, Becky finds herself pulled back into a world she thought she had set aside, along with her childhood when her parents divorced. As the story progresses, it becomes clear that reality and fantasy are interwoven in unlikely ways, and it is up to Becky to decipher how close her link to both her family and to Tamarisk really is.
“They made a left turn and went through a doorway outside. Becky received an immediate sensory barrage. The colors were almost physically overwhelming. Of course, there was blue everywhere — Becky thought having blue leaves in Tamarisk rather than green was a fun twist — but so many other colors were totally new to her. Was this what aquamaroon looked like? Could that lemon-tangerine-melon bloom be the color she named juce?”
Though the momentum starts off a bit slow, the pace picks up about a quarter of the way into the book as more scenes are set in Tamarisk. More than a simple fantasy novel, Blue is a story about family, relationships, and the bonds between loved ones. Despite the fact that the main character is a teenager, I would certainly not categorize this novel as strictly young adult. Though teens might certainly enjoy this book, fathers with teenage daughters and parents in general would likely find this fantasy relevant and intriguing as well.
Lou Aronica has been writing books for many years and has also worked in the publishing industry for most of his career. Blue serves to launch his own imprint, Fiction Studio.
This article was first published as Book Review: Blue by Lou Aronica in Blogcritics magazine.